Day 010 Randomocity
Day 010 – August 1, 2011
A question rarely, if never, asked among travellers to Peru is “Does the country have a postal service?” Be honest, it’s not an inquiry a person usually makes when sojourning to a foreign country. People are more concerned about the sights to see, the crime to avoid, the vaccinations to receive, and the food to eat.
Let me be the second person to answer my above question and say, “Yes, Peru has a postal system.”
In addition, so far as I can tell by the few glances I have seen of this organization around my neighborhood, delivery is done by bicycle and by foot.
To date, I have answered the door twice and been handed an envelope by a person on a two-wheeled vehicle which contained a correspondence from our children’s School.
In addition, I have been outside in our front garden trying not to kill the grass when three or four envelopes would be inserted through a crack in our garage door. When I opened the front door to see the delivery person, all I saw was his back and the black of a rear bicycle tire.
Standing to Pay
The above item about bicycle-riding postal folk possibly explains this next observation.
While ambling around the neighborhood and shopping centers, I had noticed rather large lines that formed inside and outside major banks. Whether it is the small kiosk at my local grocery store, a branch office in Jockey Plaza, or a major outpost on the main street in La Molina, I would see dozens of folks spending their time waiting in line.
I discovered that these folks were in the queue (if I may borrow a bit of language from our friends in England) to pay bills. From the water bill to the credit card bill to the cable bill, this is how most folk pay…by going to the bank and depositing the money in the creditor’s account.
In the States, I simply wrote a check, put it in the mail, and that was it. For those people who have embraced technology, bills can be paid on-line.
Such is not the case here in Peru. I’m not sure if this is because technology has not been embraced here (and given the proliferation of cell phones and ads for broadband, I doubt that) or if the postal system is not up to the task (and given the mode of delivery [see above], I would pin my bet on that)
I’ve written before about what I perceive as the inefficient nature of this country, but my ethnocentric blinders may be on (please see Disclaimer No. 1) in regards to this. I may be wrong about why people wait in line to pay, so If I am, please let me know.
Flavor of the Day
I’m trying to make it a habit to try new things (as if moving to the Southern Hemisphere wasn’t enough of a new challenge). Today, at our local grocery store, I bought yogurt in a flavor that I had never had before, much less pronounce.
It is called guanabana.
The flavor of the yogurt was pleasant, almost reminded me of an unripe honeydew.
You will have to excuse my descriptions of any edible item in this and future postings as I am the opposite of that phenomenon known as the supertaster. I am that 25% of the population known as a nontaster.
In passing, if you need to know how to pronounce “guanabana”, this video is helpful.
In an effort to learn more about the politics, language, current history, past history, sports, culture, and even humor of Peru, I have decided to periodically buy newspapers to help me better understand this country.
My first purchase El Comercio. This appears to be The New York Times of Peruvian periodicals as it is a larger size than most (if not all) of its competition. It is also the most expensive (2 soles) and it also contains separate sections for business, culture, and sports.
Since I believe talking about newspapers deserves more space that I can give in this blog devoted to my experiences in Peru, I have decided to set up another blog space entitled Periodically, Peru. Here is the link that will take you to my first entry about what I found in the August 1, 2011, edition of El Comercio.
And with that, Day 010 was finished.